Ecological Equipment Operator


How can you help conserve natural areas, increase biodiversity, and improve water quality?

ILM is a local leader in the restoration and management of native ecosystems, including woodlands, wetlands, prairies, lakes, streams and rivers. We are seeking an experienced fulltime Ecological Equipment Operator to join our Ecological Construction team. Our fleet of highly specialized and unique equipment allows us to work in areas that are inaccessible to traditional equipment. This position is based out of our Waukegan, IL office.

*Not familiar with amphibious or aquatic equipment? No worries, we are willing to train the right candidate.

Primary responsibilities include:

  • Heavy equipment operation including excavators, skid steers, and agricultural tractors.
  • Amphibious equipment operation including amphibious excavators, Truxor machines and Marsh Master marsh buggies.
  • Aquatic equipment operation including sediment removal barges, pontoon boats and push boats.
  • Operate a truck and trailer combination.
  • Complete required paperwork, reporting, and other documentation.
  • Hours range from 30-60 hours/week depending on time of year and site conditions.

Secondary responsibilities include:

  • Herbicide application to invasive species.
  • Manual weed pulling by hand, mowing, weed whipping.
  • Native plant installation.
  • Tree and brush removal.
  • Prescribed burn management.


Required Qualifications are:

  • Must be at least 21 years of age.
  • Experience with heavy equipment operation and maintenance.
  • Competent in the use of hand tools and other equipment including chainsaws, brush-cutters, herbicide applicators, etc.
  • Ability to perform physically demanding tasks in rough terrain and adverse weather conditions (lift/carry minimum 50 lbs).
  • Ability to perform daily equipment maintenance.
  • Exceptional manual dexterity and hand-eye coordination.
  • Strong work ethic and positive attitude.
  • Ability to work independently or with a team.
  • Must possess a Class A CDL (air brakes preferred but not required) with a clean driving record.
  • Ability to use smartphone or tablet apps for job tracking and reporting.

Preferred Qualifications are:

  • Air Brakes and Tanker endorsement.
  • Ability to diagnose and perform minor equipment repairs.
  • Ability to read and interpret plan sets, construction details and specifications.
  • Knowledge of standard construction practices.
  • Experience with typical soil and erosion control practices.
  • Basic identification of native and invasive plant species common to the Chicago region.



$25 – $35/hr, 401k, insurance (health, dental, vision), paid time off

*ILM is an equal opportunity employer*